Most solar chargers are either gimmicks that would struggle to juice up a lemon, or giant packs you need a car to haul around. Goal Zero’s new Nomad 7 Plus looks like it might tick the holy grail of small, cheap, and useful.

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Goal Zero is best known for providing solar power for outdoor photographers, van dwellers, and serious Everest expeditions. It’s a company with a ton of credibility making robust gear for real-world use. So, when it makes a $100 solar panel that can actually charge smartphones in a reasonable time while still being portable, it’s worth listening.

I say “actually charge” because I’ve owned a bunch of cheap solar chargers before, and they all sucked. If a solar panel can’t produce enough consistent power to charge a phone, it’s going to take all day to get any battery charge, and the weak charge will also damage your device’s battery in the long term.

The Nomad 7 Plus promises consistent 7 watt, 1.4 amp charging, thanks to a power regulator that helps smooth out the inconsistencies that come when you’re charging with a nuclear fusion reaction 100 million miles away. There’s no built-in battery, so you either need to charge your device directly, or pump that power into a separate USB battery pack.

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The physical design also looks good: it’s about the same size and weight as a paperback book, and comes with a weatherproof design and magnetic kickstand, so you can get the optimal angle to the sun. It goes on sale today for $100.

[Goal Zero]